Happy Flag Day! At our house, it is a special day to honor a love story that started almost 30 years ago. Flag day, not only because it is a day to honor our nation’s flag, but also because it’s the day my man and I surrendered ourselves to walk together on a journey filled with unknowns. Yes, it is my anniversary. As my man likes to tease me, “it’s been 20 long hard years baby, 20 long, hard, years.”
20 years ago, I didn’t know what lie ahead, the hills and valleys we’d face. All I knew was we were in love. Since the beginning, (this is also our 30th year anniversary from our first date) we’ve always loved to walk and talk. Hand in hand and heart to heart together we’d walk.
From the first time I saw him, I knew. His kind brown eyes spoke volumes to my hurting soul. He always listened and spoke life to me. A guy always filled with integrity and love, he’d listen. My mouth often got me into trouble and he’d gently remind me of others feelings. One summer night, I spilled out my story of being a child of divorce and all the chaos I’d endured. In Haverhill we started something I pray will never end. Together we walked.
We broke up for a time, but somehow during that time God got ahold of my heart. My only prayer was that someday I would see my one and only love again. How blessed I was when I got a chance to share the love of Jesus and his heart was changed, too. He was losing his hair now, but I didn’t mind. In fact, I kinda found it a little sexy, a little intriguing, you know what I mean. So together we walked.
When we said our vows, this day you’d think we’d be able to tackle anything. My hands shaking in his as we wore our wedding bands bearing the words, “the two shall become one.” We meant it. Our wedding day filled with family and friends. Many are gone now, but have left a legacy for us to follow. We kissed that day, determined and so in love. I was his bride and I couldn’t be happier. So together we walked.
When he decided to be a real estate agent, I went along with it. I didn’t care. As long as we were together, with him I’d live anywhere. Thank you Jesus that it only lasted a week. He went back to his old job where he has been so blessed and encouraged by amazing people. So together we walked.
Then, when I just couldn’t get pregnant and I longed to be a mom, he encouraged me. “It’s all in God’s timing.” He was optimistic, while I was in the dregs. He was by my side when I gave natural childbirth to all three of our beautiful and amazing daughters, loving me and speaking life the whole time. With a carriage now too, together we walked.
One day I lost my mind. I thought he was someone he wasn’t. My mind played tricks on me and made me think wrong things about this wonderful, loving man. And he had to do the unthinkable. He had me hospitalized because he knew what was best for me. He knew my mind was not well, and that I needed help, help he could not provide. For months at a time I would go away to get well. But when I’d return, he’d love me even more. Can you believe that? So together we walked.
Now he is in school. He is such a smart guy who loves school. Not anything like me. He has spent weeks at a time halfway across the world, and I have missed him terribly. And although he is not in the hospital like I was, I get it now. The pain of missing someone and wondering if they’ll ever come back. Your heart aching for them. Lord, going through life with another human is a beautiful thing. To be known in such a way, that when all your faults are exposed, bleeding out of you and they are there for you, just loving you, we experience You, your love. I’m so blessed. So together we walk.
At Christmas he surprised me. He gave me a beautiful watch (since I’m often late) and then he got on one knee and placed a diamond ring on my finger and pledged to do it all over again. I sobbed in my pajamas thinking, is this real? This man, he amazes me everyday by his kindness – but especially on this day because I don’t deserve this kind of love. So together we walk.
Today we celebrate and I long to shout from the rooftops my love for this guy. Things have changed, we are growing, in fact we are a little bigger versions of ourselves than we were 20 years ago, but we are also growing in Christ. We are living life together, accepting our faults and encouraging one another to live God’s best. In fact, he lets me bare my soul on this blog or really to anyone who will listen, and he loves me even more. He gives me freedom to be who God has made me to be, and rejoices with me in all God has done. Wow! And to think God made us with the same length of legs (yes I have a very short body – he is 6’4 and I am not) so we can stay in pace with one another on this journey called life. So together we walk.
On this day I proclaim my love to a man who has stayed by my side in sickness and in health for 20 long hard years (30 if you count the dating) and I thank him for loving me, for praying for me and for serving me like he does. I know I’m not a fan of doing laundry and sometimes he tolerates breakfast for dinner, but I’m one thankful wife. So on this long hard journey called life, together we walk.
Thank you Lord for never leaving our side.